Road To Russia … Italy 4 – Holland 1

Holland’s versatile winger JORDY VAN OORSCHOT (14) of HYS Den Haag shadows Italy right wing DIEGO KOSTNER (16) of Swiss elite league side HC Lugano, the emerging 20-year-old who has already scored six goals in the Nationalliga A this season after managing just two all of last term, during the XXII Winter Olympic Games – Group D Qualification Tournament contest at the TransEge Arena in the southwestern German city of Bietigheim-Bissingen.

A pair of lightning strikes just 13 seconds apart at the start of the second period and another strong performance from the starting goaltender carried already-eliminated ITALY to a 4-1 victory over winless HOLLAND on the final day of competition at the XXII Winter Olympic Games – Group D Qualificaton Tournament in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany.

The Italians skated to the lead less than five and a half minutes into the contest thanks to the marksmanship of native Canadian PAT IANNONE of HC Val Pusteria Wolves, the 31-year-old left wing who has spent his entire professional career in Serie A after concluding his junior days with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League; the real damage was done when the two native Canadians VINCE ROCCO of HC Alleghe, the 25-year-old right wing who led Italy with three goals at this Olympic qualifying tournament, and ROB SIRIANNI of HC Valpellice quickly scored goals to leave the Netherlands trailing 3-0 just 1:07 into the second period.

Holland did have their best period of the entire Olympic qualfication tournament at the EgeTrans Arena in the middle frame of the match against the Italians. In a period that concluded without the benefit of even a single power play, the lightweight Dutch still managed to generate an impressive 17 shots on target and pulled a goal back through defenseman BJORN WILLEMSE of Tilburg Trappers. Holland might have had a few more, too, if not for the fine work of Italy goaltender DANIEL BELLISSIMO of Swedish elite league side IK Timra.

Bellissimo, the 28-year-old native of Toronto who tended the nets for Western Michigan University before heading across the Atlantic Ocean to sign with HC Asiago in the summer of 2007, made 31 saves for the Italians in his second start of this tournament in Bietigheim-Bissingen while Rocco, the 25-year-old native Canadian who skated seven games (4 go, 9 pts) for the Reading Royals in the East Coast Hockey League after completing his career at the University of Niagara in the spring of 2009, finished off the Nethlerlands by adding his second goal of the game into an empty net with a little over a minute remaining.


Italy’s native Canadian goaltender DANIEL BELLISSIMO of Swedish Elitserien club IK Timra and Holland winger MITCH BRUIJSTEN of Eaters Geleen, the 23-year-old rookie in his first season of professional hockey after three campaigns of NCAA college hockey with the University of Alaska – Anchorage, focus on the airborne puck in front of the net during the XXII Winter Olympic Games – Group D Qualification Tournament contest at the TransEge Arena in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany.

XXII Winter Olympic Games
Qualification Tournament, Group D
Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany


05:16 … ITA – Iannone (Iori, Hofer)
penalties – di Casmirro ITA (14:34)
20:54 … ITA – Rocco (de Marchi, Plastino)
21:07 … ITA – Sirriani (Scandella, Borgatello)
35:07 … HOL – Willemse (Demelinne, Smid) – ppg
penalties – van Oorschot HOL (hooking) 22:57
58:52 … ITA – Rocco (Hofer, Insam) – eng
penalties – Iori ITA (interference) 52:00, de Marchi ITA (interference) 53:06, de Jong HOL (tripping) 54:24, Plastino ITA (hooking) 56:15

ITALY ………… 40 = 13 + 17 + 10
HOLLAND ……… 32 = 7 + 17 + 8

“Best Players”
ITALY ………… Christain BORGATELLO – (HC Bolzano Foxes)

ITALY : Bellissimo – Borgatello, Johnson ; Plastino, de Marchi ; Hofer, Willeit ; Helfer – Scandella, di Casmirro, Sirriani ; Rocco, Insam, Gander ; Iori, Scelfo, Iannone ; Fontanive, Kostner

HOLLAND : Meierdres – van de Heuvel, de Jong ; Smid, Willemse ; Overweg, van de Velden – Joly, Demmeline, M. Bruijsten ; Wurm, Kars, Postma ; van Oorschot, Bastings, Hagemeijer ; Houkes, Dijkstra, van Hulten

Attendance – 4,517

Referees – Eduards OVINS (Latvia), Alexei RAVODIN (Russia)


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